Donald Trump has revoked John Brennan‘s security clearance, accusing the former CIA director of exhibiting “erratic” behaviour.
“Mr. Brennan has recently leveraged his status as a former high-ranking official with access to highly sensitive information to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations, wild outbursts on the internet and television about this administration,” press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.
Brennan has been deeply critical of Trump’s conduct, calling his performance at a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland “nothing short of treasonous.”
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The security clearance of several other former intelligence officials, including former FBI director James Comey, is also under review, Sanders said Wednesday.
In June, the White House announced it was considering revoking the security clearance of a number of Obama-era officials, including Brennan, Comey, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former director of national intelligence James Clapper, former national security adviser Susan Rice, and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.
The announcement regarding Brennan comes amid a firestorm of controversy over allegations by former White House adviser Omarosa Manigault-Newman that the president is racist and has used the N-word, which prompted Trump to call her a “dog.”
Manigault-Newman, a former reality show star who appeared on The Apprentice, also revealed she made secret recordings during her time at the White House, and that she has spoken with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office.
On Tuesday, Brennan issued a scathing reply to Trump’s tweet regarding Manigault-Newman, writing that Trump fails to “live up to minimum standards of decency,” and is “dangerous for our nation.”
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On Wednesday, Sanders said a loss of clearance has nothing to do with an individual’s criticism of the president, and that reviews continue on a “case-by-case basis.”
Sanders declined to directly comment when asked why the clearance of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, has not been revoked.
— With files from the Associated Press